Friday, December 14, 2012
Counselors will be available at every school on Monday, according to Margaret Dolan.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Dear Parent, The Westfield Public Schools are deeply saddened by the tragic news coming out of Newtown, Connecticut. Our thoughts are with the families and community. Within our own school community, counselors will be available at every school on Monday. Also, our counselors advise parents to use discretion in permitting children to have access to the news media this weekend since the details and images may be disturbing. I was in contact with the Westfield Chief of Police today and will follow up to learn from this tragedy. The safety and well-being of our students remain our top priority. Sincerely, Margaret Dolan Superintendent of Schools
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Margaret Dolan says reduction in revenue coincides with increasing enrollment.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
On December 11, voters in Westfield will have the opportunity to decide how they want to finance the cost of replacing the majority of outlived roofing on our school buildings. A bond is a mechanism by which state, municipal and school bodies fund large capital expenses. This bond referendum before voters will spread the cost of the roofs over 20 years. Current low bond interest rates make this a favorable time to issue bonds. The tax impact to the average homeowner is estimated at $31 in 2014. Thereafter, the tax impact actually will decrease due to other bonds which will mature and be fully paid. The bond referendum has been reviewed by bond counsel and meets all legal requirements. Roof concerns have been discussed at public Board of …
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Board reflects on student performance data, district construction projects as new school year approaches
More than 6,300 enrolled students will file back into Westfield classrooms next week, but last night, it was the Westfield Board of Education’s turn to go back to school. Though the board’s first meeting of the 2012-2013 session included some discussion of past performance, there was a clear focus on the upcoming school year, which will include two new district principals, 50 newly-painted classrooms and a recently-installed wireless network that will provide and permit more efficient use of technology throughout the district. Superintendent Margaret Dolan began last night’s meeting at Lincoln School by summarizing district events that took place during summer months and to address the 2010-2011 School Report Card that was recently …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Dana Sullivan will leave Montclair School District to succeed him
Dana Sullivan will replace Vincent Yaniro as the district’s business administrator on Sept. 1, according to an announcement made by Superintendent Margaret Dolan at Tuesday night’s Westfield Board of Education meeting. Tuesday night was the final board meeting for Yaniro, who is retiring in August. The former Chatham school official was appointed interim business administrator and board secretary in March of 2011 after his predecessor was abruptly removed due to having corruption charges brought against him. Dolan led the board in thanking Yaniro for a job well done during the past 15 months. “He is a professional to be admired,” Dolan said of Yaniro, who worked in five other school districts before coming to Westfield last year. “We’ve …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Long Range Planning Committee presentation suggests enrollment should allow middle school attendance zones to eventually return to 2008-2009 levels.
Current enrollment projections indicate that by the 2014-2015 school year, middle schools should be able to return to their 2008-2009 attendance zones, according to a presentation by Superintendent Margaret Dolan at last night’s Westfield Board of Education meeting. The current attendance zones affecting the district’s middle schools have been effective in alleviating the effects of larger class sizes, Dolan said during a presentation of a demographic report to the Board on behalf of its Long Range Planning Committee. The zones had been adjusted in 2009 – through a form of redistricting –to account for a bulge in student enrollment in certain elementary school grades, with the tentative plan to have the adjustments in effect for five years…
Friday, March 9, 2012
WHS-TV36 will air short videos of students using technology.
Friday, March 9, 2012
The public will have the opportunity to view examples of how technology is woven into the curriculum in the Westfield Public Schools beginning March 18. The first week of spring is being dubbed “Spring into Technology Week in Westfield." Short videos of students using technology in the classrooms will be posted on the district’s website at www.westfieldnjk12.org/video and aired on WHS-TV36 beginning March 18 for several weeks. The TV schedule is: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Also, during the “Spring into Technology Week,” PTOs will be conducting fundraising which will be targeted to help upgrade technology in Westfield High School. “We continue to focus on technology for the entire …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Students say trust the teachers, while some parents ask for controversial book to be made optional reading.
Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting included a long-awaited presentation detailing a proposal to accommodate all district classrooms with twenty-first century technology as well as discussions of how to allocate recently-awarded state aid within the 2012-2013 budget. But emotions were at their highest when the Board and members of the public discussed the literary merits of a controversial book and the degree to which parents should have a say in determining the district’s curriculum. Board members, parents and students spent an hour sharing their opinions both in support and opposition of 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,' a book that has been in the ninth-grade curriculum at Westfield High School since the fall …
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Parents question process that allowed book to become required reading for three freshman English classes.
'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' is the semi-autobiographical novel of author Sherman Alexie. The first-person narrative details the protagonist’s quest to take his future into his own hands, leaving his school on the Spokane Indian reservation to attend an all-white high school and combat the challenges that accompany his decision. The coming-of-age tale earned Alexie the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, but its content has also lead at least three school districts nationwide to ban or limit its presence in student curriculums. And now it is the most controversial book in Westfield. The book – certain passages of which include graphic sexual, discriminatory and violent language – is required …
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Seventeen harassment, intimidation,and bullying incidents, 14 incidents of student violence, vandalism and substance abuse documented during final six months of 2011
The Westfield school district experienced 17 confirmed incidents of student harassment, intimidation and bullying as well as 14 incidents of student violence, vandalism and substance abuse during the final six months of 2011, according to data presented by Superintendent Margaret Dolan at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. The presentation, titled “Violence, Vandalism, HIB and Substance Abuse,” was given as a result of new state legislation that requires administrators to give two annual reports on the subject (previously, only one presentation was required each year). Dolan said the presentation was also given as a means of furthering one of the district’s primary goals of establishing better communication and modeling …
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Westfield Board of Education will hold a public meeting at 8 p.m. at 302 Elm St.
The newest member of the Westfield Board of Education will be announced at tonight's public meeting at 8 p.m. Seven candidates were interviewed by the BOE Tuesday, Jan. 3 to fill the seat vacated by former BOE President Julia Walker. Also on tonight's agenda is a Guidance Update presented by Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan and Maureen Mazzarese, who was appointed coordinator of K-12 counseling following the sudden resignation of director of student personnel services/guidance K-12 Richard Charwin in August. With his departure, Charwin became the fourth guidance director to leave within the past four years. In late August, the Board appointed two individuals fill the void for the year and lead the guidance department. Mazzarese …